“Hope. Sometimes It’s all that you have.
When you have nothing else, if you have it, you have everything.”
The memories are hazy.
I was laying in my hospital bed. God only knows how long I had been hooked up to this IV.
The procedure usually takes six to eight hours, but because of a mistake the hospital made we were now somewhere past the twenty four hour mark.
I hated this hospital, every time I came here something bad happened. I would always beg my mom to take me to a different hospital but we couldn’t drive all the way to Toronto every time I had to get a transfusion.
I was eight years old.
This was about a year after I was diagnosed with my blood disorder. We made trips to the hospital at least two times a week. It was a very dark point in my life, I felt like I had no hope.
Every time we would talk to the specialists they would throw around the idea of removing my spleen, there was a 50% chance that would put me in remission.
I would have to take pills for the rest of my life. Even at the age of eight I knew that was an obligation I would have a hard time sticking to.
So we tried other things.
We tried natural remedies, a disgusting drink with chunks of something that would have me gagging every time I had to take it.
They put me on pills that made me gain weight and have uncontrollable mood swings. I once broke down into tears while I was watching Sunday morning cartoons.
Countless needles and a year later here I was, laying in this bed.
The worst part was the frustration of being trapped.
There was a needle in my left hand with a board taped to my arm to stop it from moving.
I was attached to a pole on wheels that held all the equipment.
Even going to the bathroom was near impossible.
But something happened that day that has affected me deeply ever since.
A little boy and his mom approached my bed.
The boy was younger than me, maybe five or six. His mom said something like “My son saw that you are sad, and he wanted to give you this.”
He handed me a teddy bear.
I don’t remember what the boy or his mom looked like. I don’t remember their voices, the expressions on their face, or much at all really. But I remember that I felt truly happy when he gave me this gift.
I’m not going to say after this incident it was all rainbows and sunshine, but it gave me something intangible. I’m not even sure what word to use. Call it hope, courage, faith, the feeling of someone caring.
All I know is after that incident, I would find myself seeing things in a new light. Instead of saying “It’s hopeless” I would say “If that little boy can be brave, why can’t I?”
Sometimes I still feel like my eight year old self.
Except now I lay in my own bed. There is no needle in my hand or board strapped to my arm. Instead I am trapped by my fears, anxieties, emotions and worries.
But I still have that teddy bear from fifteen years ago. Every once and while I look at it and think to myself.
“If that little boy could, why can’t I?”